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Worker burned in Gulf oil platform fire dies

NEW ORLEANS — One of the workers critically burned in an oil platform fire in the Gulf of Mexico died Friday in Louisiana, the Philippine ambassador said.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. said in a news release that 49-year-old Avelino Tajonera died shortly after his wife and three children arrived from Manila.

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Three other men remain hospitalized. The ambassador said their families are in Baton Rouge.

The explosion and fire Nov. 16 also killed 42-year-old Ellroy Corporal, whose body was found in nearby waters. The search for another man, 28-year-old Jerome Malagapo, has been called off.

The embassy quoted Consul General Herrera-Lim as saying three Filipino workers who survived the fire are back in Manila after giving statements to federal authorities investigating the fire.

A federal agency on Wednesday told the platform’s owner, Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations, that it needs to improve safety at its offshore operations.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said the company has been cited numerous times for failing to comply with regulations.

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